While everything from the pandemic to the election results seems to leave us with less than usual to give thanks for, we can at least be thankful that we’re still here. The Evil Princess and I wish a peaceful and fulfilling Thanksgiving to all.

One recurring theme of this holiday seems to be, “How do we avoid unpleasant arguments at family gatherings such as these?”  Well, we can give thanks for the fact that a “Zoom Thanksgiving” at least gives us a “mute” option.

For some time now, the gun prohibitionists have been urging their followers to “engage in conversation” about this issue at family dinners, despite the long-standing conventional wisdom about avoiding religious or political debates at friendly get-togethers.  Unfortunately, most prohibitionists’ idea of “negotiation” is “How much of your rights and property can we take away from you to make us feel good and enhance our virtue signal?”

Meanwhile, in the criminal justice sector, the latest buzzword of the clueless is “de-escalation training for police.” Those of us who have actually done police work tend to find this wryly amusing, since cops have been the masters of de-escalation the whole time. You see, we’d rather talk angry, raving people down from their rage than have to roll around with them in the gutter while they’re punching, biting, gouging and head-butting.  For generations now, George Thompson’s concept of “Verbal Judo”™ has been part and parcel of police training.  It works well, but not perfectly, simply because reasoning with the unreasonable is a contradiction in terms.

An excellent read on the topic can be found here. It was written by my friend John Bostain, late of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and one of the nation’s leading law enforcement trainers. John has always been a star attraction at the annual conclaves of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association where among other things he has appeared often on the Panel of Experts on Firearms/Deadly Force Training that I moderate there each year, and at the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers’ seminars before that.

There are certain things which are universal in the world of human conflict, regardless of the level or scope of the conflict. You’ll find that John’s principles of de-escalation are as true in a Thanksgiving Day argument with Crazy Uncle Fred at the dinner table as they do when a cop is up against somebody else’s Crazy Uncle Fred at the scene of a domestic disturbance.


  1. Happy Thanksgiving! Let us show our gratitude to President Trump by contributing at least a little $ to his effort to correct the fraudulent 2020 election. If a lot of people give a little, it will make a big difference. Likewise, a few $ to joining or otherwise supporting the Second Amendment Foundation, especially if Mas finds he needs to move to Bellevue, WA, which is not likely yet a cheap place to live. Time to make some videos, too, with citizen de-escalation-advocates practicing their theories on rapists, drug addicts, homicidal maniacs with what used to be called Asperger’s, lunatics, etc. Hah! I still would like to try out some de-escalating Japanese netguns myself. They look effective, and a lot of fun. Go police!

    • When one says that Japanese netguns look like fun, one is referring to training. Dealing with any berserk individual who is suffering some kind of anguish, or an offender presenting a threat, even if an obnoxious fake-news reporter, is never going to exactly be fun. Ideally, a team of four or five officers could be needed to perform a net-based apprehension. Two officers with net launchers, one officer with something like a 12-guage with a side-folding stock, loaded with maybe #4 buckshot, for stopping a net-free perp, and one or two security to watch everybody’s back. I still like 5-foot-long, black hickory sticks padded like saps near the end for stunning hands, wrists, or lower arms to cause knives or other non-firearm instruments to drop free. Better a bruise than a bunch of bullet holes.

  2. Have a Happy Thanksgiving. My cousins and I have been reminiscing about holidays at our grandparents where the biggest controversy was who made the best cornbread dressing. It was all good but my vote was for my grandmother’s. Where have those days gone? Anyway, Good bless us all.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving wishes to you and the Evil Princess. You are definetly on my list of things that I’m thankful for. Your articles assisted greatly during my (35 part-time years) of being a law enforcement Officer working weddings, festivals, ‘coming out’ parties, etc., as well as working security at a major auto race track. Here’s wishing you both the best.

  4. Happy Thanksgiving Mas, EP and everyone. I am thankful for you all.

    Interesting that I am at a funeral for Butterball in a wildly Blue State with one of our child’s inlaws. We had discussions on hunting (I brought the fresh elk jerky), gun laws, politics, economic and more.

    It was satisfying as we had no disagreements and they listened & learned a few reinforcing details about such issues (mostly gun related and education related as they are quite knowledgeable about most but gun laws and such). Going to the range with some of them next week!

    We face a wild two to 4 years ahead. It should be quite interesting.

  5. Happy Thanksgiving to all. In addition to the points Mas makes above, the clueless have apparently never met any of those lovely folks who think that weekend evenings are not complete without a drunken brawl. I’ve never understood the mindset-if you’ll excuse that term. Not to mention the occasional difficultly in “reasoning” with someone who doesn’t have the concept in their hard drive.

    Several years ago one of the DC TV stations sent a camera/talent(?) team to police de-escalation training. To their credit, they actually aired the segment where the young lady failed to achieve de-escalation. They also aired her altered frame of reference on the subject.

  6. “How much of your rights and property can we take away from you to make us feel good and enhance our virtue signal?” Exactly! Reminds me of two wolves and a lamb discussing what to have for dinner.

    We know the big government believers really want to weaken the police because they know that will lead to anarchy. Anarchy will panic the populace, who will then turn to the government and cry, “Make it stop!” That is the cue for big government to show up and pretend to save the day, superhero-style. Every policy the Democrats favor makes the population weaker, less self-reliant and more dependent on the government. It doesn’t help that individuals make lifestyle choices which weaken them as well.

    You really can’t have a modern civilization without a police force. I’ve heard immigrants say they like our justice system because it has more fairness and less corruption than their home country’s system. Our laws are predictable and our system can be counted on to be fair most of the time. Of course, that is changing fast.

    During the Communist Chinese pandemic, I’ve been thankful to still have electricity, the Internet and food. We don’t have third-world problems yet, but we are closer to them than ever before.

    The stealing of the election reminds me of some famous sayings. “Stuck on stupid,” and “smart machines, stupid people.” So much schooling, so little learning. Maybe we should call it “mis-education,” as in “mis-informed.” People carry computers in their hands now, connected to the world’s knowledge, yet they still get fooled and can’t see the truth.

  7. MAS, what shoulder holster is that that you are wearing in the Oct. 31 picture, the one with a Ber. 92 in it?

  8. Happy belated Thanksgiving to you and the much too pretty for you EP.

    I prefer, having learned in corrections, to negotiate from a position of letting the other guy save face but still retaining my toxic masculinity. Masculinity is very important in the unnatural world of prisons. Unfortunately, as you correctly noted, “You can’t reason with the unreasonable.”

    As for politics I fear what the next few years will bring. I fear the only way out of this conundrum is to divide the country along political lines and create a new republic. What the libtards form is up to them but they aren’t welcome where I am. I’m through letting them trample on my rights.

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